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Traditional PC Market Up Worldwide While Shortages Lead to Decline in the U.S.

Globally, traditional PCs are continuing to see growth despite bottlenecks in the supply chain. However, according to a new report from market research firm IDC, in the United States, traditional PCs saw their first quarterly decline since the beginning of the pandemic. Traditional PCs include desktops, notebooks and workstations.

"Bottlenecked supply chains and ongoing logistic challenges led the U.S. PC market into its first quarter of annual shipment decline since the beginning of the pandemic," said Neha Mahajan, senior research analyst, Devices and Displays at IDC, in a prepared statement. "After a year of accelerated buying driven by the shift to remote work and learning, there’s also been a comparative slowdown in PC spending and that has caused some softening of the U.S. PC market today. Yet, supply clearly remains behind demand in key segments with inventory still below normal levels."

Interestingly, according to IDC, vendors witched their "shipping priorities" during the quarter, sending units to emerging markets where growth is strong and holding back in markets (countries) with slower growth.

Globally, traditional PCs grew by 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2021 compared with the same quarter last year. Total shipments reached 86.7 million units.

The top manufacturer in the third quarter worldwide was Lenovo, which grew 3.1 percent year over year to capture 22.8 percent of the overall traditional PC market. Lenovo shipped more than 19.77 million units in Q3.

No. 2 HP was the only maker in the top 5 to see a decline in the third quarter (–5.8 percent) but still captured 20.3 percent of the overall market with 17.6 million units shipped.

No. 3 Dell saw the highest growth and market share gains of the top PC manufacturers, climbing 26.6 percent to nearly 15.2 million units in the third quarter. Dell's market share increased from 14.4 percent in Q3 2020 to 17.5 percent in Q3 2021.

Apple, in fourth place, saw the second-best growth among the top manufacturers, climbing 9.9 percent on shipments of 7.65 million units. Aside from Dell, Apple was the only other manufacturer to gain market share, coming in at 8.8 percent of the market — up exactly half a point from Q3 2020.

IDC called the No. 5 slot a tie between ASUS and Acer Group. ASUS grew 3.6 percent on shipments of 6 million units. Acer grew 1.4 percent on shipments of slightly more than 5.98 million units.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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